'I used to play in a front three!' - Chelsea defender Rudiger reveals he was originally a winger alongside USMNT star Brooks

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Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2020
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The Blues centre-back originally made his name in attack before being moved to his current position in the centre of defence

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed he originally played winger early in his career and was joined by Americans John Brooks and Jerome Kiesewetter as part of a three-man forward line.

Rudiger has been with Chelsea since 2017, when the German centre-back made the move to the Premier League in a £29 million ($39m) switch from Roma.

The German international has been a regular for the Blues ever since, making 120 appearances since heading to the Premier League.

Additionally, the defender has been active with Germany at international level, featuring 37 times for his country including during a trophy-winning run at the 2017 Confederations Cup and as a member of the 2018 World Cup squad.

However, Rudiger says his career began very differently, as the 27-year-old revealed he originally began as a winger.

At that point he was joined by USMNT star Brooks as well as twice-capped American forward Kiesewetter, who is the only remember of that forward line to remain an attacker.

"I played at Hertha Zehlendorf in the attack together with John Brooks who is a Bundesliga defender at Wolfsburg today. We played with a three-man forward line: John in the middle, me on the left and Jerome Kiesewetter, who now plays for Inter Miami in the USA, on the right," Rudiger told T-Online

"Jerome and I were pretty fast, John was technically good and very tall early on - he mostly headed the balls in from the centre. We were very good, and that's how we came to the attention of the professional clubs - at that time, it was the winger Antonio Rudiger! 

"John then went to Hertha and was retrained as a central defender. I switched to BVB and also became a defender. Jerome remained a striker."

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Like Rudiger, Brooks has emerged as a top central defender, becoming a vital player for both Wolfsburg and the USMNT.

Kiesewetter, meanwhile, has bounced around several clubs, featuring for Stuttgart and Fortuna Dusseldorf before taking his career stateside. The 27-year-old winger is currently out of contract, having made two appearances for Inter Miami this season.

Rudiger and Chelsea are fresh from a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa as they sit sixth in the Premier League ahead of a scheduled clash with Manchester City on Sunday.

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